U.S. to raise Iran missile test at United Nations
Iran said this month it had tested a new precision-guided ballistic missile. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, has said that the medium-range missile was capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.
U.N. diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States planned to raise the issue during a meeting of the 15-member Security Council.
The United States is also preparing a report on the incident for the Security Council’s Iran Sanctions Committee, Power said.
Iran has disputed the U.S. assessment that the missile tested was capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.
“None of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s missiles has been designed for a nuclear capability,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday, according to Iran’s state news agency IRNA.
“Rather they have been designed for the legitimate defense of the Islamic Republic’s sovereignty and territory,” he said.
Council diplomats have told Reuters it was possible to sanction additional Iranian individuals or entities by adding them to an existing U.N. blacklist. However, they noted that Russia and China, which have opposed the sanctions on Iran’s missile program, might block any such moves.
Ballistic missile tests by Iran are banned under a 2010 Security Council resolution which remains valid until a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers is implemented.
Under that deal, reached on July 14, most sanctions on Iran will be lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. Once it takes effect, Iran will still be “called upon” to refrain from any work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.
The deal allows for supply of ballistic missile technology to Tehran with Security Council approval, but the United States has pledged to veto any such requests. Those restrictions on ballistic missile technology will be in place for eight years.
The missile test is not a violation of the nuclear deal, U.S. officials have said.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday conditionally approved the nuclear deal, but warned that the agreement would be violated if any of the six world powers imposed any sanctions on any level and under any pretext.